- Flying might be cheaper, but don’t expect it to actually save you time. Europe is meant to be travelled on train. That includes traveling on night trains to 1) save on hotel costs and 2) not waste precious day time traveling.
- London is expensive in terms of lodging and especially if you fly out of London, but there are many more free things to do than in most other cities.
- Zürich is as quiet or noisy as you want it to be. The Lake Zürich cruise might be the best deal in the city.
- Paris: you don’t need to stay on the 1st/2nd arrondissement to enjoy the City of Light as long as you’re near the metro you should be fine. But if you want to stay at the top hotels with points, remember to book as early as you can.
- Venice: I never knew getting lost could be so fun! 🙂 Confirm what kind of room you’ll be getting before you arrive. Also see if an upgrade with a bit of cash can be done.
- Rome: I would not go back during peak season. When you visit Rome can make all the difference.
- Milan: If you want to see the Last Supper make sure you get your tickets way in advance.
- Safety: Before you go, research what type of tourist scams are currently in fashion and also take steps to protect yourself from the classic ones.
- Tipping: while tipping might not be customary, we tipped everywhere we went and it was always well received. If we came back to the place, we consistently got extra love. If you want to tip in Italy, the only way to do it, is with cash.
- If our experience with Airbnb in Rome is the norm, then hotels could be in more trouble than I could have imagined!
- At the airport: If you are returning to the US give yourself extra time at the airport, at MXP the enhanced security screening was so slow we had no time to even see the lounge and we actually got to the airport 2+ hours before our flight. The recommended 3 hours before the flight, at least in our experience made sense.
- Time at each city: Many will recommend spending no less than 3 days at each city. Others might insist you need at least 5 days. I wish we could have spent 7 days at each city, but the truth is, it all depends on your travel style. At the end of the journey, your mission is to have enjoyed as much as you could if you spent hours, days or weeks at each place. If there me just flew by, then you have another reason to return.
What are your lessons learned?